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Effects of acute tryptophan depletion on neural processing of facial expressions of emotion in humans

Daly, Eileen, Deeley, Quinton, Hallahan, Brian, Craig, Michael, Brammer, Michael, Lamar, Melissa, Cleare, Anthony, Giampietro, Vincent, Ecker, Christine, Page, Lisa, Toal, Fiona, Phillips, Mary Louise, Surguladze, Simon and Murphy, Declan G. M. 2010. Effects of acute tryptophan depletion on neural processing of facial expressions of emotion in humans. Psychopharmacology 210 (4) , pp. 499-510. 10.1007/s00213-010-1850-7

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Abstract

Introduction Acute tryptophan depletion (ATD) temporarily lowers brain serotonin (5-HT) synthesis, and behavioral studies have shown that this alters the processing of facial expressions of emotion. Materials and methods The neural basis for these alterations is not known. Therefore, we employed ATD and event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to examine neural responses during incidental processing of fearful, happy, sad, and disgusted facial expressions. Fourteen healthy male controls (age, 28 ± 10) were scanned under both placebo (SHAM) and depletion (ATD) conditions. Results and discussion We predicted that ATD would be associated with changes in neural activity within facial emotion-processing networks. We found that serotonergic modulation did not affect performance on the fMRI tasks, but was associated with widespread effects on neural response to components of face processing networks for fearful, disgusted, and happy but not sad expressions across differing intensities. Conclusion Hence, the 5-HT system affects brain function (in ‘limbic’ and ‘face processing’ regions) during incidental processing of emotional facial expressions; but this varies with emotion type and intensities.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Uncontrolled Keywords: Acute tryptophan depletion; Emotions; fMRI; Serotonin
Publisher: Springer Verlag
ISSN: 0033-3158
Last Modified: 19 Mar 2016 22:39
URI: http://orca-mwe.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/23081

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